Warning: this is kind of long. I know some of you (Scott) can't deal with more than 2 paragraphs at a time.
I turned 16 in December of my sophomore year of high school. I didn't get my driver's license, however, until 4 months later because my mom made me take driver's ed through the high school. This means that I had to take it the second semester of that year because you couldn't take it before you were 16. The class was once a week for like 3 months. Even though I was older than my friends, we all got our licenses about the same time because they got to take the quickie 2 week course. Surely 12 years later I am still not bitter about this, right? Wrong. Thanks a lot, Mom. Hmm...maybe you will have to just wait a couple extra years to have grandchildren, huh?
Anyway, it turns out that the driver's ed class through the high school was, shall we say, substandard-that is if my driving record of the first 8 months that I had my license is any indication. I won't go into detail about everything here seeing as there are a few incidents that I need to keep on the DL for a very specific reason (my parents don't know about them), but suffice it to say that within the first 8 months of legally driving, I had upwards of 6 "incidents". And by "incidents" I mean that collisions took place with either a stationary or moving object.
It is the first of these incidents that I will describe to you today. Five days after I got my driver's license I was picking up my friends Squirt and Kim in my parents' sweet ass minivan. I got to Squirt's, honked the minivan horn and waited for them to come out. They jumped in, I blasted "Two Princes" and backed out of the driveway.
What......the fuck.......was that.
Oh I'll tell you what it was--I had just backed into a parked car. Instinctively I turned off the radio so I could think straight. I pulled back into Squirt's driveway and started freaking out. "Who the hell parks their car directly behind a driveway in the suburbs!?", I was yelling, obviously missing the point of what had just happened--that I was 16 and a shitty teenage driver. I had no idea what to do. Squirt and Kim were no help. We were all just standing there staring at the car I just hit.
A plan was born, however, when we realized that a) there was no damage to the minivan and b) no one else was outside except for Squirt's brother Bobby and his friend Bobby. They were 11 and 12, respectively. I was so scared of what my parents were going to do to me that all sense of right and wrong completely fell by the wayside. It was all about survival. And I was not going down without a fight. I approached the Bobbys and asked them if they saw what had just happened. Bobby #1 said, "Uh...yeah....duh-you totally just slammed into that other car. That was awesome!" Signaling to him that his commentary was not needed (by saying, "Shut it, Bobby!"), I told the young boys that if they didn't tell anyone what happened, I would buy them ice cream. They happily agreed.
Look I am not proud of this. First of all, I bribed little kids thereby assuring that they would also get in trouble. Secondly, all I offered them was a lousy ice cream cone. These kids were saving my ass from certain death by lecture, and all I could offer them was ice cream? That was a low moment for me, but really it should be for them, too, because I can't believe they agreed to that. Come on, guys, you had me by the virtual balls-you could have taken me for more than just ice cream.
Anyway, after I bribed the Bobbys, I left. We got back in the van, and I drove away. Yes-I did a hit and run because I am a horrible person. And I would feel more guilty about it if one of Squirt's neighbors hadn't watched the whole thing from inside his house and then told on me to Squirt's mom who then told on me to my parents. Luckily the lady whose car I hit was very understanding as her 16 year old niece had done THE EXACT SAME THING less than a month earlier to someone else. She actually was laughing about it with my parents. To the lady I hit, I just want to say you effing rule. I'm sorry I backed into your car and left, but thanks for being so cool. Also quit parking directly behind driveways.
As for me, I had to pay my parents back for the $1100 in damages I caused, I was grounded for a month*, and I had to apologize to the Bobbys, Squirt's mom and the other Bobby's parents. That was by far the worst part of the punishment. I've never been more humiliated. If I ever have kids I am absolutely using this technique because holy crap it worked on me. I never wanted to do anything that would put me in that position again.
As for Squirt's brother Bobby, apparently after his mother found out from the neighbor about the accident she asked him about it, and he wouldn't tell her anything for over 5 hours. FIVE HOURS!! I saw him over this past Christmas for the first time in about 10 years, and the first thing he said to me was, "Hey, you never bought me my ice cream goddammit. What gives?" Seriously how much does that kid love ice cream?
*My month of being grounded happened to fall at the same time as Spring Break so for 2 of the 4 weekends of my grounding, I was on a Carribbean cruise with my family. And my parents counted it! Best...grounding...ever! Mom, I take back what I said about putting off giving you grandchildren. In fact, I am pregnant right now**.
**Note to those wondering: this is not true unless the rules of how you actually get pregnant have changed to include eating frozen yogurt and watching Home and Garden Television.